Bloomberg News

Bulgaria’s Prista Oil Buys Chevron’s Stake in Uzbek Plant

November 23, 2011

(Updates with chairman comments from second paragraph.)

Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Prista Oil Group BV, Bulgaria’s biggest producer of brake-fluid and motor oil, bought Chevron Corp’s stake in a blending plant in Uzbekistan, Prista Oil Chairman Plamen Bobokov said.

Prista Oil bought Chevron’s 50.1 percent stake in Uz- Texaco, a Fergana, Uzbekistan-based blending joint venture with state-owned Uzbekneftgaz, for an undisclosed price, Bobokov said in a phone interview in Sofia today. Prista Oil, in which Chevron Corp holds 25 percent, has two blending factories in Bulgaria, one in Hungary and one in Turkey.

“This acquisition helps us set foot on the central Asian market, which is more stable and predictable with the ongoing crisis in European markets,” Bobokov said. “We plan to export more than half of the Uzbek plant’s output, to neighboring central Asian countries, as well as Ukraine and Moldova.”

The new joint venture has been renamed Uz-Prista and is estimated to produce 48,800 tons of engine oils in 2012 and 50,000 tons in 2013, while sales are expected to reach $60 million next year and $65 million in 2015, Bobokov said.

“We are looking for new markets outside the European Union to help us compensate for the crisis, which will probably worsen next year,” Bobokov said. “We won a supply tender in Algiers and have orders from companies in Libya and Egypt for our Turkish plant.”

Prista Oil produces Valvoline motor oil in its plant near Istanbul in Turkey under a contract with Ashland Inc. and owns Monbat AD, Bulgaria’s biggest car-battery maker. The company’s 2010 net income fell to 1.54 million lev ($1.06 million) from 5.4 million lev in 2009, according to the company’s website. The group’s total output rose to 66,000 tons of engine oils in 2010 from 59,000 tons in 2009.

--Editor: James M. Gomez

To contact the reporter responsible for this story: Elizabeth Konstantinova at ekonstantino@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net


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